MOL Group will follow its path with or without the Croatian company INA, CEO Zsolt Hernadi said in an interview with the leading Hungarian news website Origo.hu after the oil and gas group adopted a long-term business strategy last week.
Last Thursday MOL's Board of Directors adopted the long-term business strategy "MOL Group 2030 – Enter Tomorrow" whereby the company aims to strengthen its position in Central and Eastern Europe, become a leading chemical group in the region and invest about USD 1.5 billion every five years to ensure growth in the petrochemical industry.
Asked if INA was part of the new strategy, Hernadi said: "This strategy is for the future and not for the present or the past. For the time being INA is rather the past and present."
"MOL does its best efforts trying to keep INA's balance above the red line but long term development issues would definitely need also a cooperative partner, namely the Croatian Government. Local cabinets have been so far willing to hold consultations with MOL only about development concepts from 2003 or 2008, i.e. well before the crisis but now we live in 2016. And the world goes ahead not reverse," he added.
"We ought to discuss plans for 2030 and what we should do in order that the Croatian oil company can exist still in 15 years. As long as we are unable to hold meaningful consultations with the Croatian Government about future developments and we are always confronted with a planned economy mentality, there won’t be any progress in this field. This 'MOL Group 2030' strategy is viable also without INA. We know in which directions MOL needs to develop, and INA may have a role in this growth path but not necessarily," the MOL CEO said.
Asked if he thought he would have a chance for meaningful dialogue with the new Croatian government, Hernadi said: "God forbid that I publicly qualify any government and party programs or politicians’ statements! But one thing is for sure: if we can discuss issues related to INA as our common company on market-economy basis then such dialogue will be meaningful. MOL Group will follow its path with or without INA."
"I regret the most that at the moment I cannot present any vision for INA employees. We will do our best to ensure sustainable operation for INA, but any further development directions will inevitably need the Croatian Government as well. If the Croatian politics would prefer an INA based on planned economy concept under strict political control and operating not in a market-conform manner, well this is also a possible option but MOL is not required for this scenario," Hernadi said.
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